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Ronaldo robs City with late winner
Published : 18 Sep 2012 22:17:47
City looked like they might snatch a clash in which they had been outplayed when Aleksandar Kolarov struck late on but Madrid responded to the delight of the Bernabeu as Karim Benzema levelled and Ronaldo won it at the death.
The visitors had taken a 1-0 lead against the run of play through substitute Edin Dzeko in the second half but Marcelo quickly cancelled out the strike.
Ronaldo twice tested Joe Hart in the opening minutes, first after being released by Michael Essien. The Portuguese, booed loudly by City's vocal fans, cut inside Vincent Kompany but Hart was equal to his low effort. Ronaldo then beat Maicon on the left to extend Hart again but City survived.
The Spaniards appeared to be completely monopolising possession as the second half began but City broke away to open the scoring against the run of play in the 68th minute. Toure was again the driving force and his ball for the newly-introduced Dzeko was perfect. The Bosnian took the pass in his stride and finished with great composure.
The lead could not last. Madrid produced a strong response and this time Marcelo got lucky as he cut inside and fired a shot past Hart, with the possible aid of a deflection off Javi Garcia.
City were not content to sit back for a point and looked like they might snatch it when a Kolarov free-kick from the right crept through the box, taking a slight touch off Xabi Alonso, to hit the net with four minutes remaining. However, Real sensed the urgency and powered forward in a pulsating finish.
Benzema turned brilliantly on the edge of the area and levelled with an equally composed finish. It was the least the hosts deserved - but Hart did not deserve to be beaten.
The England goalkeeper again showed his brilliance in the dying moments to save from Ronaldo - but the Bernabeu hero could not be kept out long and he fired in a low shot in injury-time.